News

Mazak joins Canada Makes

Canada Makes is pleased to welcome Mazak Canada as its newest Leadership level partner. Mazak has been contributing to the Mazakdevelopment of the machine tool industry as a leading global company since 1919 and adding their expertise is a big plus to our network.

“Mazak Canada is excited to be a partner in the Canada Makes Network. As a leader in Additive / Subtractive Direct Energy Deposition technology, we strive to be at the forefront of this manufacturing evolution,” said Ray Buxton,
 General Manager
Mazak Corporation Canada. “Being part of the Canada Makes network will allow us to work closer with industry partners and allow us to better support this emerging technology as it develops into a mainstream manufacturing process.”

MAZAK VC500 5X AM MACHINE

Mazak VC500 5X AM hybrid machine

Mazak currently produces three distinct models of Additive / Subtractive equipment. The VC500 5x AM – entry level machine for colleges, universities and research laboratories. The Integrex i200S AM and the Variaxis J-600/5x WAAM wire feed deposition machine.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the capabilities of the Mazak hybrid additive / subtractive systems,” said Frank Defalco, Manager Canada Makes. ”Canada Makes wants our manufacturing sector to have state-of-the-art tools and Mazak is a partner that can help achieve this.”

Save the date of October 19th as Canada Makes is looking forward to co-hosting a workshop at Mazak’s Technology Centre in Cambridge, Ontario. The event will showcase Direct Energy Deposition, Additive / Subtractive technology featuring the Mazak VC500 5X AM machine. More details on the event will be forthcoming.

About Mazak: Canada Technology Centre
Located in Cambridge, Ontario, the Canada Technology Centre is one of Mazak’s eight Technology Centers in North America. The facility enables Mazak to work closely with their customers throughout Canada to generate the most innovative ideas for increasing productivity, efficiency and equipment utilization.

The Canada Technology Centre helps optimize customers’ part-processing operations by providing:

  • Access to the latest Mazak machine tool technology for testing new product solutions
  • Process and application engineering
  • Training facilities and educational seminars

Collaboration opportunities with cutting tool, workholding and automation partners to develop new manufacturing solutions.
Please visit www.mazakcanada.com or call 800-668-5449 for more information.

About Canada Makes
Canada Makes, a CME initiative, is a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of advanced and additive manufacturing (AM) in Canada. It is an enabler and accelerator of AM-adoption in Canada.

Jesse Garant Metrology Center is re-defining the future of service based part inspection

Jesse Garant Metrology Center (USA & Canada) announced that it has expanded its operations to accommodate the growing demand for high volume part inspection for pre-production and production validation. With investments in new equipment and improved infrastructure, including state of the art industrial computed tomography systems for inspecting large parts, their enhanced capabilities solidify their position as leaders within the nondestructive testing and metrology part inspection services industry.

Two 450kv CT Systems at Jesse Garant Metrology Center

JGMC 450 systems (Jesse Garant Metrology Center)

As part of a five year, $15 million roll-out investment in technology, Jesse Garant Metrology Center’s latest expansion includes a more diverse range of advanced imaging systems. The expansion includes a wider range of Industrial CT systems for improved inspection capabilities of industrial parts, digital x-ray systems for high volume part sorting, and new 3D scanning equipment for improved data capture of external features. “Our services are not only to provide our customers with the essential data they need to make qualified decisions, but to help meet the growing demand for larger scale part inspection projects, and continue to be a supporting role in the advancement of industry” says Jesse Garant, President.

With three locations within Michigan and Ontario, the company’s centrally located labs primarily serve as an essential hub for the automotive and aerospace industries. Through this investment, the company will continue to be the largest Industrial CT scanning service provider in North America with the greatest diversity of inspection systems available today. “This expansion means we’re able to easily adapt to industry and meet the challenges of part inspection,” adds Garant.

With clients ranging from local businesses to multinational corporations, the company has undergone steady expansion to meet demands from manufacturers around the globe. Last year, Jesse Garant Metrology Center was recognized as the 64th fastest growing business in Canada and 2nd in Windsor-Essex by PROFIT 500 and was also a finalist for Ontario Exporter of the Year. 

Canada Makes applauds this announcement from our partners at Jesse Garant Metrology Centre.

About Jesse Garant Metrology Center

Jesse Garant Metrology Center is a globally recognized part inspection company, providing NDT and Metrology services using advanced imaging equipment. The company specializes in industrial CT scanning, industrial x-ray, and 3D scanning, with locations in Windsor, ON and Dearborn, MI. For more information, please contact 1-844-JGARANT or visit https://jgarantmc.com.

Taking the Lead in Additive Manufacturing conference: A great success

May 31st saw more than 200 industry professionals attend the Taking the Lead in Additive Manufacturing conference in Boucherville, Québec. The day’s sessions included both International and National leaders in additive manufacturing. This was the third annual Réseau Quebec-3D (RQ3D) conference organized jointly by Canada Makes, CRIQ, PRIMA and CRITM.

The knowledge shared by the day’s speakers was both instructive and well suited for the business professionals on hand. The day started with a video message from the Honourable Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, followed by the day’s keynote, Greg Morris of GE Additive, and international speakers M. Jalel Nadji, Application Engineer Materialise USA, M. Daan A.J. Kersten, CEO Additive Industries from The Netherlands, Alexandre Lahaye AddUp (Micheline-Fives) France.

Greg Morris GE Additive, Daan Kersten Additive Industries, Alexandre Lahaye AddUp (Micheline-Fives), Jalel Nadji Materialise

Of note was Greg Morris response to a question from the audience about where Canada additive efforts should focus? Canada should really be developing a supply chain that can add more value to its natural resource mineral extraction sector. Afterwards, the audience was treated to a surprise video featuring Cassidy Silbernagel, which lead into Daan Kertens presentation. Cassidy is a two-time winner of Additive Industries Design for Additive Manufacturing Challenge. You can view the video here.

During last year’s event RQ3D and Canada Makes signed a collaborative agreement designed to promote 3D printing and help Canadian manufacturers integrate this new technology. Denis Hardy, President & CEO Centre de recherche industrielle du Quebec (CRIQ), said “this conference proves that the strong alliance forged last year between RQ3D and Canada Makes is leading the push in the adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) across Canada.”

“I am very grateful to have been invited to speak at this conference. Canada Makes and RQ3D put together a great agenda with world renowned leaders in additive manufacturing which offered insightful and truly valuable information.” said Martin Petrak, CEO Precision ADM.

Canada Makes would like to thank James Wilson, Deputy Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade, Province of Manitoba for attending this years conference and we hope to continue working closely with Manitoba and other provinces in building a world leading AM sector.

The afternoon was highlighted by McGill’s University’s Mathieu Brochu’s presentation about the AM ecosystem and how to achieve an equilibrium. The day also included two significant announcements, first, is a brand new AM training initiative called Fab 3D and a new 3D Printing Design Challenge for Canada’s post secondary students that will include cash prizes.

Canada Makes is very pleased with the positive feedback received for this conference, which now must be considered Canada’s leading Additive manufacturing event. We would like to thank Louis Duhamel for doing a great job as facilitator and look forward to another great event next year.

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Canada Makes renews Metal Additive Demonstration Program

Canada Makes is pleased to announce the renewal of its Metal Additive Demonstration Program for 2017/18. The program is funded by the National Research Council (NRC) through its Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) Materials and Manufacturing Sector Team (MMST).

The goal of the program is to de-risk the initial trial and learn about metal additive manufacturing (AM) capabilities. Interested companies will be invited to engage with a working group expert in metal additive manufacturing who will assist in better understanding the advantages and business opportunities both in terms of cost savings and efficiency of metal AM. Once the project is deemed viable for AM and the SME is IRAP eligible a part is built and then sent to the participating SME to test.  Canada Makes pays for the work.

The programs goals are to create awareness and encourage the adoption of AM technology to improve Canada’s manufacturing and exporting sectors and develop of a Canadian metal AM supply chain.

More than 100 companies from across Canada have participated in the first three rounds of the program and the renewal offers the chance for more companies to receive financing for a metal AM project.

If you are interested in the program, please contact
Frank Defalco
frank.defalco@cme-mec.ca
(613) 875-1674

Interested companies are encouraged to view Canada Makes’ two interactive guides to learn more about metal AM.

These two guides, the Metal Additive Process Guide & Metal Additive Design Guide are designed to assist small businesses new to metal additive manufacturing (AM) wanting to learn more about process and designing for metal AM (DfAM). The Guides are easy to use and interactive offering useful information for newcomers to this technology.

Access is free although we request that you register. Thank you and enjoy!

Metal Additive Process Guide

Guide 1 – This is an introductory guide to metal 3d printing using laser powder bed technology

Metal Additive Design Guide

Guide 2 – This design guide introduces concepts needed when designing for metal 3d printing.

UNB Launches Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence

On Tuesday the University of New Brunswick launched Canada’s first research centre for 3D metal printing for the marine and defence industries.

Dr. Mohsen Mohammadi, director of the Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence and master’s student Carter Baxter examine a 3D printed metal component. Image: Rob Blanchard Photo UNB

The  Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence  will combine research, commercialization and workforce development and training.  This centre is the result of a partnership between the University of New Brunswick, Custom Fabricators and Machinists (CFM), and community colleges in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The centre will be the first in Canada to use 3D metal printing for manufacturing certified, custom parts for the marine sector. Its mission is to ensure the adoption of this technology in the marine sector by developing new methods, procedures, and effective training programs.

Dr. Mohsen Mohammadi, director of the Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence and assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UNB, will lead the research and development component of the centre, with CFM partnering on commercialization. The New Brunswick Community College, Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick and the Nova Scotia Community College will lead workforce development and training.

“We’re seeing more and more people show interest in coming to New Brunswick to be part of what we’re doing.  This is the first centre of its kind in Canada and we are doing it right here in New Brunswick,” said Mohammadi. “Our technology is greener and more efficient than conventional methods and will create high value jobs here in Atlantic Canada.”

The multi-million-dollar centre is currently funded by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ $2.7-million contribution is a part of its industrial and regional benefits obligation to the federal government for its contract for the CP-140 Aurora Structural Life Extension Project.

“We are very pleased to see our Industrial Technology Benefit supporting the creation of the University of New Brunswick’s Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence. Innovations such as 3D metal printing are the way of the future and Lockheed Martin is always looking at methods to increase our efficiency and effectiveness in the field of advanced manufacturing,” said Charles Bouchard, CEO of Lockheed Martin Canada, in a release.

Irving Shipbuilding’s $750,000 investment is a part of its Value Proposition commitments under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS).

“As the commercialization partner, CFM is pleased to be hosting the 3D printing equipment at our facility, and we look forward to working with the community colleges to provide a hands-on classroom to train the next generation of skilled machinists and fabricators,” said David Saucy, vice-president construction and equipment division of J.D. Irving, Limited, in a release.

“We also look forward to working closely with Dr. Mohammadi and his team as we integrate this new technology into our existing global customer base as well as developing new markets in the growing marine manufacturing sector.”

The university says nearly $5-million centre is expected to triple its funding in the coming year with other partners coming on board.

Government of Canada announces $8.9 million AM investment in the University of Waterloo

May 24, 2017 (Waterloo, Ontario) – The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, announced an $8.9 million investment in the University of Waterloo’s Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing (AM) Lab. This investment will establish Canada’s first major advanced manufacturing technology commercialization centre.

“This project will support up to 18 new partnerships, help commercialize up to 21 advanced manufacturing technologies and create over 80 jobs,” said Minister Chagger. “It will also provide opportunities for students from the University to prepare for the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow.”

“Innovation and skills development are the driving forces behind manufacturing, trade and a better future for middle-class Canadians. Harnessing innovative technologies is crucial to the future of Canada’s manufacturing sector,” said Dennis Darby, President and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). “Today’s announcement is a clear example of strong, coordinated government action CME has been calling for to reinvigorate the manufacturing sector to match global competition.”

“Canada Makes is very pleased with the Government of Canada’s investment. It recognizes the importance of additive manufacturing to the future of Canada’s economy, said Martin Lavoie, Executive Director Canada Makes. “This most certainly will help grow Canada’s global competitiveness by making it easier for manufacturers to adopt additive metal manufacturing processes.”

A broad range of industrial partners including aerospace, mining and automotive, will work with the University of Waterloo’s Multi-Scale AM Lab’s state-of-the-art technology and develop innovative 3D printing solutions to streamline manufacturing in Canada.

Canada Makes will continue working closely with the team at the University of Waterloo in helping Canadian industry to adopt AM to their process and keeping Canada a world leader in innovative technology.

About the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters:
Since 1871, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has been helping manufacturers grow at home and thrive around the world. In 2016, CME released Industrie 2030 – a roadmap for doubling Canadian manufacturing activity by 2030. Our focus is to ensure the sector is dynamic, profitable, productive, innovative and growing. We aim to do this by strengthening the labour force, accelerating the adoption of advanced technology, supporting product commercialization, expanding marketplaces and, most importantly, ensuring a globally-competitive business environment. CME is a member-driven association that directly represents more than 2,500 leading companies who account for an estimated 82 per cent of manufacturing output and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports. www.cme-mec.ca

About Canada Makes
A Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) initiative, Canada Makes is a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of additive manufacturing in Canada. For more information on Canada Makes, please visit www.canadamakes.ca

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Design for additive manufacturing: Guidelines & case studies for metal AM

The Government of Canada recently commissioned the Fraunhofer Institute to deliver a report ‘Design for Additive Manufacturing (AM) – Guidelines and Case Studies for Metal AM’. The goal of the report is the help Canadian companies and researchers take advantage of existing knowledge in metal AM.

The report is based on seven components each tailored to the specific needs of the chosen AM technology. It identifies leading edge industrial applications and trends associated with the design for AM and limitations related to current AM technologies. The evaluation of the seven case studies highlights general design principles to take best advantage of the powder bed based additive manufacturing techniques Laser Beam Melting (LBM) and Electron Beam Melting (EBM).

1. Bionic Wheel Carrier of Electric Vehicle – Automotive / Motorsports

2. Main Gearbox Bracket – Aerospace

3. Calibration Tool for Extrusion Process –  Energy

4. Heat Exchanger – Energy

5. Miniature Heat Exchanger / Cooler – Not limited to specific industry

6. Functionally integrated Implant – Medical

7. Functionally integrated Tooling Segment – Tooling

Compared to conventional manufacturing methods additive manufacturing technologies provide unique opportunities and freedom in design, resulting in a high degree of product individualisation. Building parts layer by layer without using any tooling, moulds or dies enables the design and manufacturing of very complex component geometry, such as lattice structures or free formed surfaces and organic shapes.

Hinge assembly manufactured in one shot with LBM (Source: Fraunhofer IWU)

Design attributes like undercuts are no longer a limitation and with the aid of topology optimisation the component geometry can be tailored to the specific needs of application. In addition to it, features and functionalities can be incorporated into a part just during the manufacturing process in one shot and assemblies consisting of many components can be reduced to a single part. Even the assembling of different parts during primary shaping with AM technologies is possible, which has already been demonstrated for components like bearings, chains, hinges.

Moreover, the design optimisation and material characterisation are analysed. Finally, there are given overall conclusions with focus on AM-specific design optimisation, main flaws and weaknesses of the considered metal AM processes as well as aspects of AM commercialisation.

Example for topology optimisation – skateboard axle mounting, manufactured with LBM (Source: Fraunhofer IWU)

Skateboard Truck (Titanium) , LBM design demonstrator with topology optimisation and graded lattice structures (Source: Philipp Manger)

This is a small sample of what is available in this comprehensive report. We invite you to download this report and take full advantage of the know-how on offer.

Download the full report here.

Redesigning medical instruments using 3D metal printing

3D metal printing helps surgeons to perform heart operation

Additive manufacturing methods of 3D printing are increasingly opening up new paths in medical technology. Alex Berry, founder of Sutrue (UK), and Richard Trimlett, consultant at the Royal Brompton Hospital, are focusing strategically on AM for applications in cardiology. Is it possible to improve the “golden hands” of an experienced heart surgeon? Yes, it is. Using the example of a machine for performing sutures during operations and a cardiac stabilizer for endoscopic heart operations, Sutrue shows how operations on the heart can be performed more safely. Heart operations are soon to become faster and safer. And there is even more good news: patients are recovering faster.

Sutures following operations are still stitched up today in almost the same way as they were in the days of the ancient Egyptians. Alex Berry discovered that around 240,000 medical professionals a year globally suffer needlestick injuries as a direct consequence of this stitching. Even experienced operators are confronted with the drawbacks and inaccuracies of previous suturing methods. To change this trend, Sutrue developed an instrument which automatically passes any curved needle with a suture through the tissue of a patient. The requirements placed on the automated suturing device were that the stitches are made quickly, are positioned precisely, are reproducible and are made with the necessary force. The better and more quickly the suturing can be performed, the shorter the operation is for the patient as well. And a clean stitch also leads to better recovery.

The perfect mechanics of an automated instrument: Suture quickly, reproducibly and cleanly in a heart operation

View of the opened gear mechanism for driving the rotating needle of the automated suturing device – the gear teeth are just 0.4 mm long

The extremely slender suturing device is inserted via a conventional endoscope the size of a drinking straw during the heart operation and moved into position. Its head can rotate and be pivoted in order to find any desired batch of tissue. The needle rotates softly and with pinpoint precision during suturing. This is possible thanks to a complex miniature gear mechanism that drives the needle. The entire gear mechanism is an AM assembly. What this innovation actually means for the operator is that the suture is pulled through quickly and cleanly and the stitch is automatically set in place. A few small stitches in arteries or in delicate structures are now possible. Each stitch can be performed with reproducible accuracy using the suturing device. Complicated operations in particular can be performed faster and more safely. Thanks to the suture device, up to three rotations of a needle per second are now possible, instead of one stich per 25 seconds while doing by hand. This reduces the risk associated with the operation for both, patients and surgeons.

Idea of stabilizing the heart muscle during the operation
In Great Britain alone, around half a million people live with a heart defect. Treatment with drugs only delivers very minor improvements to patients and often an operation on the heart is the only way to save a person’s life. In Great Britain, cardiovascular disease is the second most common cause of death, accounting for 27% of deaths, after cancer, which accounts for 29% of all deaths. During open-heart surgery, the surgeon needs the heart muscle to be stabilized for an intervention to be made. Richard Trimlett outlines the task: “We’re doing a beating heart operation so the heart is in use by the body but we need to hold the small area that we’re working on still. With the chest open we can put a big suction device in but when we’re doing keyhole surgery we need very small parts that we can pass in and out. What we don’t want to do is disadvantage the patient by offering them an inferior stability of the heart so that the quality of the operation isn’t as good when you do it as a keyhole. I said to Alex, ‘could you make something that comes apart in pieces, pass through a very small incision that we can use to hold the heart stable? Could we make it to throw it away and even customise it to the different shapes and sizes?’” For Richard Trimlett it was clear that the heart stabilizer should be small, be capable of being dismantled, and be designed with exposed channels pre-assembly. The role of the stabilizer is to keep the heart muscle still at the precise point where the surgeon wants to make an intervention. Alex Berry took on the task and presented a biocompatible prototype of the heart stabilizer: one part made of plastic (SLS) and one part made of metal (LaserCUSING). The component consists of a rod on which the U-shaped heart stabilizer is inserted, like a stamp. The surgeon presses the stabilizer onto the operating site that he wants to keep still to make an intervention. 

Short development time and care for the patient
The heart stabilizer was successfully developed in just three months. Previously, it was not uncommon for such a new development to take up to ten years. The component itself is printed by ES Technology on an Mlab cusing from Concept Laser  in the space of three to four hours. It consists of a metallic basic body and several plastic suction points that aspirate by means of a vacuum. Both parts are joined together using a sandwich technique. “The solution is estimated to have cost only around £15,000 to develop. Comparable conventional developments used to cost upwards of a million pounds,” says Berry to illustrate the relative sums involved. But from Richard Trimlett’s point of view, it is primarily the patient who benefits from the new instruments using in heart operations. Here he cites an average rehabilitation time for the patient of around six months following a conventional surgical intervention. “Initial experience indicates,” according to Richard Trimlett, “that patients undergo a demonstrably gentler procedure and can recover after just three to four weeks.”

Cooperation between surgeons and Sutrue
The Sutrue Team have been involved in the development of medical operating equipment for more than 10 years. A precise analysis of the operating method is absolutely essential to allow suitable medical instruments to be developed. To achieve this, surgeons work together closely with expert medical consultants, such as Richard Trimlett. Trimlett, who is a cardiologist, attempts to translate the specifications and wishes into a specific set of requirements. With Alex Berry from Sutrue, he has access to a manufacturing expert who transfers the requirements into CAD designs and geometries. Sutrue has been working with AM methods for around (ten) 7 years. “AM makes it possible to produce geometries that cannot be achieved using traditional manufacturing methods. In addition, the parts have greater performance capacity or functional precision, or else they are extremely delicate or small. This is often precisely what the surgeon was previously lacking,” explained Alex Berry. 

Sutrue relies on machine technology from Concept Laser
ES Technology, Concept Laser’s UK distributor, manufactures the parts for the automated suturing device on an Mlab cusing machine using the LaserCUSING process, also known as 3D metal printing. The Mlab cusing is particularly suitable for manufacturing delicate parts where a high level of surface quality is demanded. The special thing about the compact machine is its very user-friendly, pull-out drawer system that is very safe at the same time. This includes both the build chamber with dose chamber and the storage container. It allows a rapid change of material without the risk of any contamination of powder materials. The patented drawer system is available with three different sizes of build envelope (50 x 50 x 80 mm3, 70 x 70 x 80 mm3, 90 x 90 x 80 mm3). Also available now is its “big brother,” the Mlab cusing 200R, which allows even greater productivity thanks to a doubling of the laser power from 100 watts to 200 watts. In addition, a larger build envelope has been created and this increases the build volume by as much as 54% (max. 100 x 100 x 100 mm3).

In this case, the machine technology from Concept Laser makes it possible to produce the teeth of the gear mechanism, which are just 0.4 mm long. Up to 600 parts can be printed on one single build plate. After the tooth system has been removed from the powder bed, it does not require any finishing thanks to the very high accuracy of the metal-powder-based process. Stainless steel 316L is used. Alex Berry explains: “In addition to the restrictions on geometry, conventionally milled or cast parts have a few other drawbacks. It takes a great deal of time to get to the finished prototype. In addition, the costs are very high. In 3D printing the parts are produced very quickly and at a fraction of the previous costs of prototyping. But the potential for bionic designs, reproducibility, miniaturization and not least the reduction in the number of parts and outlay on assembly is also vast. If one looks at the full spectrum of optimizing manufacturing and product design coupled with an increase in functionality, 3D printing is capable of revolutionizing medical instruments.”

automated suturing device on the build plate

Additively manufactured parts of the automated suturing device on the build plate of an Mlab cusing from Concept Laser

Outlook
Richard Trimlett and Alex Berry already see an even greater challenge on the horizon. The buzzword is artificial hearts, that is to say mechanical pumps that perform the function of the heart. The previous models have weaknesses. AM could lead to new thinking in this area. The pump could be designed to be smaller. The really intriguing thing, according to Richard Trimlett, is the possibility of integrating electromagnetic functions for moving the pump. These are just a few of the basic considerations for redesigning mechanical heart pumps. AM seems to be inspiring the experts in the field of cardiology.

State-of-the-art equipment for innovative AM research at McGill University

Renishaw AM400

Renishaw AM400

McGill University is very excited about its recent acquisition of new equipment that greatly increases its additive manufacturing (AM) capabilities. Located in Prof. Mathieu Brochu’s laboratory at McGill in Montreal are now two new Renishaw laser powder bed units, an AM250 and an AM400.

“These units will be used to expand the boundaries of AM, particularly in the critical areas of processing of materials sensitive to cracking, microstructure control, and the relationship of the former to powder quality and chemical composition,” said Prof. Brochu. “Tapping into McGill’s existing expertise in pulse-based AM processing, the primary objective will be to open new AM opportunities for industry by providing new and higher performance AM alloys/parts.”

Moreover, installed in January and complementing the new 3D printing capability available is a new ZEISS Xradia 520 Versa 3D X-ray nano-CT scanner. McGill researchers and other institutions now have access to this powerful CT scanner. This technology has the capability to detect defects with a 700 nm special resolution with a minimum 70 nm voxel size, and is instrumental in helping to minimize defects using AM.

 

ZEISS Xradia 520

ZEISS Xradia 520

The Xradia 520 Versa is capable of non-destructive 3D submicron imaging. It can analyze a wide variety of solid and soft materials including rock, metal, polymers, glass as well as biological hard and soft materials such as stained or unstained tissue.

Canadore introduces additive manufacturing capabilities to companies building parts for space mining

Canadore College’s Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (ICAMP) and Canada Makes are helping ensure Canada’s participation in the next stages of mining in space. Working with Ontario based Deltion Innovations and Atlas Copco, ICAMP introduced its additive manufacturing capability to produce prototype tool ends for a space mining multi-purpose tool, labeled PROMPT (Percussive and Rotary Multi-Purpose Tool). The device would prospect for water, ice and resources on the moon and beyond.

“For obvious reasons, this project was a dream to work on,” said Evan Butler-Jones, applied research lead at ICAMP. “The complexity of this undertaking made it both challenging and exciting. It is thrilling to participate in this small way to Canada’s efforts in developing the space mining industry.”

Canada Makes helped fund the eight-month project through its Metal Additive Demonstration Program. Butler-Jones had this to add, “Canada Makes funding was essential in proving the potential of additive for these tools, and led to further work completing the final parts. The final parts were a hybrid of additive with post machining of certain features.‎”

Deltion describes the combination drill and rotary multi-use tool as a “space-age Swiss Army knife.” One of the goals is to be able to drill mine for water and ice on the moon. It would also be used in robotic construction, maintenance and repair tasks.

Atlas and Deltion brought the PROMPT concept and tool designs to ICAMP for manufacturing and production. The Centre utilized its additive manufacturing resources, including its 3D metal printer the EOS M290 and computer numerical control equipment, to prototype the commissioned parts.

Canadians to develop space mining tool

Artist rendition of a mining operation in space. (Screenshot via YouTube)

“Deltion has been working on space mining technologies for almost two decades,” said Dale Boucher, CEO of Deltion Innovations. “The use of additive manufacturing is a means to develop the complex geometries required for the tool ends of PROMPT. We are very pleased with the results of this project and we look forward to a continued collaboration with ICAMP.”

The finalized products were delivered to Deltion Innovations, who will be testing the multi-purpose tool for future deep space applications with an eye on the moon, the asteroids and even Mars.

About Deltion Innovations
Deltion Innovations Ltd. is an award winning mining equipment Design Company.  The highly skilled team of professionals has been designing and fabricating drilling and excavation technology for more than a decade, specializing in transferring and adapting technologies developed in the space sector to the terrestrial market and vice versa. www.deltion.ca

About ICAMP
Canadore College’s Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (ICAMP) consists of 13, 300 sq. ft. of industrial lab and design space capable of helping small- and medium-sized enterprises conceptualize, design, prototype, test and manufacture products. The Centre includes a large boardroom and 12-seat 3D theatre and specializes in additive manufacturing, precision 3D scanning, design and simulation software, CNC manufacturing, robotics, microscopy, destructive material testing, and non-destructive material testing. Resources include EOS and Stratasys equipment, Creaform scanning equipment, 3DS Solidworks, Solidthinking Inspire and Geomagics, 9-axis machining centre, waterjet cutting, YuMi robot, scanning electron microscope, multiple optical microscopes and more www.canadorecollege.ca

About Canada Makes
A Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) initiative, Canada Makes is a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of additive manufacturing in Canada. For more information on Canada Makes, please visit www.canadamakes.ca or contact Frank Defalco at frank.defalco@cme-mec.ca

The Metal Additive Manufacturing Demonstration Program is funding by NRC-IRAP and is designed to help Canadian industries increase awareness and assist in understanding the advantages of the metal additive manufacturing (AM) technology. Canada Makes works with a group of AM experts who provide participating companies guidance of the advantages and business opportunities in terms of cost savings and efficiencies of AM.

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